On December 9th, 2010 I made my way to the Essl Museum in search of the lost spirit of Advent. It was there that Agnes Heginger and Karlheinz Essl performed for the first time as a duo, developing an improvised musical dialogue 'out of the blue'. Somehow 'out of the blue' fit perfectly for me because I was looking for a way out of my melancholy December mood. Instead of chairs there were cushions spread out on the floor that seemed to invite the audience to a direct, unconventional and comfortable listening experience.
The Essl/Heginger performance: responsive, unpretentious and focused. There was a positive feeling of closeness and a friendly attentiveness towards the audience.
From the very first moment I was stunned and amazed, and at the same time touched and fascinated with what then happened. As I sank deeper into my floor cushion, I felt almost embarrassed by a let's say 'complete sense of happiness'. Two highly sensitive personalities engaged each other in a dialogue that should go down in history as a prime example of musical interaction.
There were many innovative moments, alternating quite willingly the musicians pulled each other into reflection, with clear sighted independence, fusing things into perspective. With a dramatic climax at the perfect moment, they communicated affectionately with virtuoso clarity to a spellbound audience. Whether it was 'out of the blue' or carefully planned, the opportunity to listen to Agnes Heginger's and Karlheinz Essl's musical dialogue was indeed my good fortune.
You were certainly left hoping that this musical conversation will be continued.